China and India: on the ‘friend’ side of ‘frenemy’?

by Soyen Park / East Asia Forum / 16 May 2018

As Korean leaders Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in were charming the world walking hand in hand over the demarcation line to the north, another ‘heart-to-heart’ summit was happening in the central Chinese city of Wuhan — this one between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Billed as the ‘first informal summit’, the two-day get-together between Modi and Xi aimed to ‘reset’ China–India ties after years of mutual distrust. Not even a year ago, the world’s two most populous countries locked horns in a face-off at Doklam. But the dragon and the elephant seem to have agreed to settle their differences and dance to the tune of rising global uncertainties, at least for now. Continue reading “China and India: on the ‘friend’ side of ‘frenemy’?”

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Where is China targeting its development finance?

by China Power

China has emerged as one of the world’s largest providers of development finance. Between 2000 and 2014, China extended a total of $354 billion in loans, grants, and other resources to countries across the globe. As China continues to establish itself as a major source of development finance, it is important to consider how this spending intersects with Beijing’s growing political and economic interests. Continue reading “Where is China targeting its development finance?”

Shining a Cleansing Light on China’s Dark Secrets

New Players, Ideas, and Arrangements: The Quest to Counter-balance China

by Philip Vincent Alegre/ March 16, 2018/ Originally Posted at APPFI

In November of last year, the world witnessed the US put forward new rhetoric in its foreign policy toward Asia. US President Donald Trump, towards the end of his 12-day five nation Asia tour, departed from usual US language and started referring to an “Indo-Pacific” region instead of “Asia Pacific”, a move which did not go unnoticed by analysts and observers in the region. Continue reading “New Players, Ideas, and Arrangements: The Quest to Counter-balance China”

China and a New Type of Global Leadership

by Lucio Blanco Pitlo III /  Originally Posted at China-US Focus / February 8, 2018

“Never forget why you started, and you can accomplish your mission,” President Xi Jinping said during his report to the 19th Communist Party (CPC) Congress last October. This resonates well at a time when China and its external environment are faced with tremendous transition challenges and uncertainties. The success of China’s reform and opening up lends affirmation to its unique syncretic politico-economic model of “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Xi confidently repeated that sticking to this line, with a few fundamental tweaks, is in China’s best interest. Strong political will, continuity and efficiency brought about by one-party rule ensure speedy and sustained implementation of long term plans and reforms, although not without detrimental effects to the growth of genuine pluralism and democracy. Continue reading “China and a New Type of Global Leadership”

Making China Great Again

By Evan Osnos / January 8, 2018/ The New Yorker

When the Chinese action movie “Wolf Warrior II” arrived in theatres, in July, it looked like a standard shoot-’em-up, with a lonesome hero and frequent explosions. Within two weeks, however, “Wolf Warrior II” had become the highest-grossing Chinese movie of all time. Some crowds gave it standing ovations; others sang the national anthem. In October, China selected it as its official entry in the foreign-language category of the Academy Awards. Continue reading “Making China Great Again”

Will the real China please stand up? A Southeast Asian perspective on China’s growing power and influence

by Aileen S.P. Baviera / (This article originally appeared in Japanese translation in Gaiko (Diplomacy), Vol 46, Nov./Dec. 2017, pp. 43-49) / English version from APPFI

The first five years of Xi Jinping’s rule saw major changes in Chinese policy that have affected its relations with Southeast Asia. With a slowing economy in need of difficult restructuring, a global financial crisis threatening China’s markets and sources of investments, the Communist Party facing issues of legitimacy amidst rampant corruption, and serious environmental problems threatening growth and people’s welfare, Xi set out on a direction that was rather unexpected. He began to assert strong central authority domestically; waged a sustained anti-corruption campaign (that also masked a purge of political rivals); took steps to raise China’s economic, political and military profile abroad; and began to contest some rules of the international order which China had been dissatisfied with. Xi abandoned Deng Xiaoping’s exhortation – obeyed by his predecessors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao – that China keep to strategic patience, remain low-key, and “bide its time and hide its capacities” (taoguang yanghui韬光养晦 ). Continue reading “Will the real China please stand up? A Southeast Asian perspective on China’s growing power and influence”

US policy challenges in the Asia-Pacific

by Ankit Panda / 31 July 2017 / IISS Voices

Security trends in Asia in the first six months of 2017 appeared to emphasise that challenges first identified in 2016 would persist and intensify for regional states. However, one important new variable was introduced to the mix. The Trump administration has left Asian countries – US allies, partners and adversaries alike – unsure of what to expect. Indeed, a hallmark of the new president’s diplomatic style is embracing unpredictability. In the meantime, threats continue to intensify across the region. Continue reading “US policy challenges in the Asia-Pacific”